Beginners Guide to Cycle Sport

Know the rules of the road - this is essential if you are to enjoy cycling to the maximum. Find them here - Highway Code

Always wear a helmet.
In many cycle sport competitions it is compulsory to wear a crash helmet. We strongly recommend that you always wear one when riding.

Beginning to ride safely
Increase your level of activity gradually. This relates to both the amount of time you spend on the activity and the intensity. If you are currently fairly inactive, don't get carried away and rush into it, start off slowly and build up gradually.
When you are doing any activity, begin slowly for the first few minutes and build up your effort level slowly too. At the end spend about 10 minutes at a very easy relaxing pace. If you are taking part in sport, make sure you warm up before and warm down afterwards to prevent muscle injury.
Stop exercising if you feel pain or dizziness, or if you feel sick, tired or unwell.
If you have any medical conditions, particularly if you are taking prescribed medication, consult your GP about your chosen activity.
Cycling skills
Riding a bike is not difficult in itself. However to be safe on the road requires basic bike handling skills. The Old Portlians CC are planning to offer skills training sessions to members in an off-the-road environment in the near future.
If riding at night or in poor conditions, we recommend that you wear high visibility clothing with reflective features. Lights conforming to a recognised standard are compulsory if cycling at night.
Learning to train
Cycling is an athletic pursuit which requires excellent endurance and speed together with excellent control and handling skills. All these aspects must be developed through your own personal training schedules. In the Old Portlians CC we are keen to develop coaching services and we currently have 2 members who are currently training as coaches with British Cycling.
Be Patient
It will take time to progress in the sport as you build your endurance, speed and skills so patience is a virtue all cyclists must cultivate. Together with having a clear idea of what you want to do in the sport and good planning you can achieve wonders!!
You don't need an expensive bike to start cycling and racing. In fact it's far more important that your bike is set up well to fit you comfortably, and is well maintained so that it works efficiently and reliably. A good bike shop will advise you and help setup your bike for you, and will often swap particular components so that the bike is just right for you.
Great progress has been made in the materials and design of cycling clothing. Now it's possible to buy clothing that looks good, keeps you dry in the wet, cool on hot days, and warm in the winter. AND at last there is a good choice of clothing available for women too.
Wearing good cycling clothing makes a big difference to your comfort on the bike, and is well worth investing in. Club members can buy our distinctive Old Portlians CC clothing.
Bike shoes have also improved hugely. Their rigid soles and strong fastenings ensure that all your energy is transferred to the bike.
Cycling has a long history dating back to the 19th Century, and it's always been a social activity and form of transport as well as a sport. The Old Portlians CC is a friendly club that holds social events throughout the year for members and their families. We enjoy our sport but realise that there are (sometimes!) other things in life too.

Contacts - what to do next
Just get in touch through this website. You'll be made very welcome, we will not expect you to be a superstar, and you shouldn't hesitate to ask any questions that you might have.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Enjoy it! You don't need to be a Lance Armstrong to take part in cycling. When you start out, just enjoy riding your bike. Gradually you'll be able to increase the distance that you cover and your speed will increase. Before long you'll be racing, if that's what you'd like to do.